The history of Hungry Jack Lodge
is unusual and unforgettable.
The first lodge built on Hungry Jack Lake was in 1924 by Jesse Gapen. It was named Gateway- Hungry Jack Lodge, as in the Gateway to the wilderness. In 1931 the lodge was destroyed by a fire. Jesse then hired 40 men to build a new lodge. Jesse and the men worked through the winter of 1931-1932, and the new lodge was open for business the summer of 1932.
In 1958 the lodge and resort was sold to the Patrick McDonnell family. They proudly ran it for 14 years, and then sold it in 1972 to Jerry Parson – a Duluth native. In purchasing this beautiful resort, Jerry fulfilled his life’s dream of owning a lodge and living in the wilderness he so loved.
In December of 1972, the lodge was entirely destroyed by fire again. This time the fire was believed to have started from a faulty flue in the chimney. Jerry found a beautiful log structure in Grand Marais owned by the Department of Natural Resources-State of Minnesota. It was previously used as the game wardens headquarters and was unoccupied. Jerry purchased the building from the state of Minnesota and moved it to Hungry Jack Lake. He dismantled the building log by log and transported it piecemeal. It took two months to dismantle the building, and one day to transport the logs. The lodge was opened for business December of 1973.
Jerry’s son Forrest started taking over the business in 2003. Forrest had been working side by side with his dad ever since his first steps. In 2006 Forrest took full reigns of the business with the sudden death of his father Jerry. In March of 2008, the lodge was entirely destroyed by fire once again. Forrest started the rebuild in September of 2008. The logs that make up the structure are local logs from Tad McDonnell (son of Patrick McDonnell, previous owner). Tad was also the main carpenter of the new Hungry Jack Lodge. Through local contractors, and much help from close family and friends the new lodge re-opened for business on December 26th, 2009. Forrest not only wishes to continue his father’s dream, but to make his own come true within the spirit of the Hungry Jack Lodge Resort and Campground.